For the past 100 years, Israelis and Palestinians have been fighting over land. There have been many attempts to make peace and find a solution, but they have not yet been successful and most recently, on October 7th 2023, another war broke out.
The Israel-Palestinian conflict is one of the most long-lasting and complicated issues in the whole world. It is a long argument between two groups of people who live in the same area, but they have different views about who should own the land.
Israel is a country that was created in 1948 and it is mainly Jewish. The Jewish people have a very long history with that land, and they believe it’s their homeland. However the area of land (which was known as Palestine) was mainly inhabited by Arab people until a lot of Jewish people came to the area in the 1920s and 1930s and then even more so after World War 2 and the HolocaustThe Holocaust was a period in history at the time of World War Two (1939-1945), when a very large number of Jewish people in Europe were killed under the rule of Nazi Germany lead to many Jewish people to leave Europe. Violence between Jews and Arabs grew because they both claimed the land and they were not able to agree on how to divide it. The United Nations decided to divide the land into seperate Jewish and Arab states in 1948.
Over the years, there have been many fights and disagreements between the two groups. These fights are about who gets to live where and who controls important places like Jerusalem, a city which both groups claim as their own. Sometimes, the disagreements turn into wars, and many people get hurt or lose their homes.
Hamas, the group that controls the Gaza Strip (a narrow strip of land between Israel and Egypt), which many countries consider to be a terrorist organisationA person or group who uses unlawful violence in the pursuit of political aims., often fights with Israel by launching rockets at cities in Israel, and Israel often retaliates with its own missiles. Many people feel that Israel does not treat the people who live in the Gaza Strip well. This leads to a lot of tension and suffering for the people living in those areas.
The latest and most serious fighting in a long time started on October 7th 2023 when Hamas crossed into Israel from Gaza in a surprise attack. The attack has caused lots of people to get seriously injured, and many have even died. Israel retaliated with air strikes (bombs and missiles that are launched from planes) and and has sent its army into parts of Gaza, with the aim of disrupting Hamas’s network of tunnels and its leadership.
People all around the world want peace in the region, and they are trying to help both Israelis and Palestinians live together without fighting. It’s a difficult problem, and there are no easy answers but Leaders and people from all over the world are trying to help and to lend their support to their friends in the region.
Sometimes when there is fighting in another country, it can feel difficult to make a difference. But amazing people like you can help too.
Do a speech or assembly about the importance of being kind and understanding of everybody, regardless of which group (if any) they support. Sometimes when there is fighting in another part of the world, it can lead to tension between people who support the different groups, even in the country that you live in. Encourage your friends and family to try to be kind to and understanding of everybody’s point of view. Remember that many people on both sides just want to live in peace and be friends with their neighbours. And that, all children (& adults!), no matter where they come from, deserve to live in a safe and peaceful place.